Game Week Notebook: Personnel changes

DE Dewayne White, who missed Sunday's game at Arizona with a triceps injury, said he felt better but wasn't sure if he would play Sunday against the Giants. More inside.

Team Personnel The Lions claimed on waivers tight end John Owens, who played eight games for New Orleans this season and started his NFL career with the Lions in 2002-04. They returned tight end Rudy Sylvan to the practice squad.

George Foster will still start at right tackle despite his recent struggles because his only viable replacement, Jonathan Scott, will miss at least one more game with a broken thumb.

The question is how the Lions will manage running back Kevin Jones, who has been battling soreness in his left foot this season after coming back from a serious injury. Jones left Sunday's game at Arizona with soreness, and if he plays a full load against the Giants, he might not be able to play five days later against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day.

Individual Player Notes

  • QB Jon Kitna was limited in practice Wednesday because of a sore back, but he is expected to play Sunday against the Giants.
  • CB Fernando Bryant went through individual drills in practice Wednesday, a good sign after he left Sunday's game at Arizona with a foot sprain and left the stadium on crutches.
  • RT Jonathan Scott, out with a broken thumb, said he hoped to return Thanksgiving Day against Green Bay. He had surgery last week. He said the bones still had not set yet and he didn't want to risk breaking them again.
  • DE Dewayne White, who missed Sunday's game at Arizona with a triceps injury, said he felt better but wasn't sure if he would play Sunday against the Giants. He didn't practice Wednesday. He wants to make sure he can last an entire game. If he passes a strength test at the end of the week, he'll play. If not, he won't.
  • TE John Owens, who began his NFL career with the Lions in 2002-04, signed with the Lions after playing eight games with New Orleans this season.
  • TE Rudy Sylvan cleared waivers and signed back with the practice squad.

    GAME PLAN: The Lions' No. 1 job will be to protect Kitna. They must block the Giants' front four. The receivers must get open better so Kitna can get rid of the ball quicker. A better running game would help keep the rush at bay. On defense, the Lions must contain Plaxico Burress with their zone and pressure quarterback Eli Manning into mistakes. They cannot allow the Giants to burn them with big plays.

    MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Lions RT George Foster, who has been struggling, vs. Giants LDE Michael Strahan, the NFL's active sacks leader. Foster has taken nine false-start penalties this season, most in the NFL, and has been missing blocking assignments, too. Now he must face Strahan and Green Bay's Aaron Kampman within five days. Foster is still making the transition from Denver's relatively simple blocking schemes to Mike Martz's complex offense.

    Lions WR Roy Williams, who caught two touchdown passes Sunday, vs. Giants CB Aaron Ross, a rookie. Williams said he knows Ross well. They're both from the University of Texas. If Williams gets this matchup and has any inside knowledge, he needs to use it to his advantage because he needs to make more plays to stretch the field and take some pressure off the running game. Williams hasn't surpassed 100 receiving yards since Weeks 2 and 3.

    INJURY IMPACT: Defensive end Dewayne White probably won't be at full strength if he plays. Running back Kevin Jones aggravated his sore left foot when he was tackled Sunday at Arizona, and he could be limited again.


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